Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Every year I want to simplify what I get for everyone for Christmas (my children as well as everyone else) but darn it. It's so fun! You can look at those toy books (wish books) and choose all these pretty things! I try to remember that a lot of it will be broken and forgotten within days (if not hours) of being opened...but I truly do not buy my children things throughout the year. We honestly can't afford to and I'm okay with that. I think toys and stuff should be special not just "because we're at Wal-Mart". So, at Christmas they get an overload. Guilty as charged. I'm not sure my husband is going to be all that happy with me. Things are being left at my doorstep on a daily basis now-thanks to Amazon.com and super-saver shipping! I can't wait to start wrapping it!
I think my excitement this year is because I'm closing in on being "done" and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!
Now, onto the adults....bah humbug! It's not that I don't like buying for other people or that I don't want to be generous. It's just super-hard to spend money I don't really have buying things for people that don't really want or need anything just to say I got them something. If I knew what people really wanted....that would be different.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I am so sick of being asked "Are you pregnant again?" It hasn't been that many times realistically but when I'm working hard to lose weight (ok, I was...I'm a little off track right now but I will get back to it within a few days) and it's none of anyone's business....It just ticks me off. Why does someone think that someone else's reproductive business is theirs? Isn't that kind of personal? As long as I'm taking care of my children (well) and love them. And we're not habitually living off of public assistance (we don't live off of it at all but I say "habitually" because I want to point out that someone who uses welfare because of a temporary setback....they are just like us. There but for the Grace of God go [we]).
Anyways, back to my story. I just so badly to say "So, what if I am?" Maybe next time I will, but for now I just look at them with what I hope is "the look" and say "No." Nothing more nothing less. And I hope that puts them in their place. I honestly can't imagine what it's like to be a part of the Duggar Family and I don't intend to be quite so prolific but I think they're doing a knock out job! I don't get the privilege of watching their reality show because we don't have cable tv, but I would watch it if I could. I think they are an example for all parents. Not in the number of children they have but in the way they parent. Intentionally, lovingly and simply. (If you can call parenting 19+ children simple). She talks so quietly and pleasantly, I admire that in anyone because I am not that. It's what I would love to change about myself but don't know how.
I get very upset when people disparage her (and I have heard some really crass remarks about her). She is not suggesting we all have 20 children or that everyone has to do things the way they do. They have just made their choice to follow their faith and that choice should be respected. As their choice. 
And leave me alone. If I get pregnant again, I will let you know when I'm ready. (And the emphasis on "again" really makes me mad because it's like people saying I'm a "breeder" and irresponsible.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life is Hard

Let me preface this with: My Life is Good!I am so blessed I get to stay home with the kids you see in the pictures in my header. I love that. Sure, we make some sacrifices (financially) for me to do that. And sure, sometimes I'd like to be a part of the world-out earning a living and participating in the workforce. But I wouldn't trade my time with my kids for anything. I being a mommy. Most of the time.

But being fair is so stinkin' hard. In fact, it's downright impossible at times. I thought, before I had kids, that it was going to be so simple. I thought, if they did wrong you disciplined them and if they did right you rewarded them. Simple. Right? No problemo! Until they fall into that gray area. The area that you can see where they made a mistake but they claim ignorance or that they were provoked. And do you discipline both children because one provoked the other? Or what about when you promise something fun and you want to do it with them and then they mess up (maybe even big time) and ruin it for everyone. Not just themselves but for you. You don't get the chance to bless them and be the "good guy".

And how in the world do you differentiate between good clean joking kind of fun and disrespect? I want my kids to be able to joke and have fun with us. Not be afraid. But they do need to fear us in the sense of respect. A good healthy fear. And when they're joking in a way that, to outsiders, comes off as cheeky (at best) that can't be good! But then do I want them "performing" when we're around others? No. I want it to be a real, honest relationship that looks the same no matter where we are or who is around. My children are not poodles dancing for the circus patrons. How do you draw the line between joking and "not funny". Just another gray area in my thinking.

And how do you choose between your children when they are at odds. When one child swears up and down the story goes one way and the other is vehemently claiming that that's not the way it went. Perception is a factor. And often the loudest child gets to "win". I hate that but it's true. Because in the words of Bill Cosby, "We just want quiet". Until the end of the day when all 4 of them are tucked soundly in their bed (before Haley makes her nightly trek to our bed that is) and I reflect on it and realize that I wasn't always fair. Almost makes me want to wake them up and say how sorry I am that I don't have all the answers.

And what about when Haley makes her nightly trek to our room-the one I mentioned just above. That should be counted as disobedience because she is supposed to be in her own bed. For 3 years now we've been telling her this. But she claims to be afraid. And the crying is for real. And I don't want my child laying in the other room shaking because she's afraid of whatever it is (shadows, foxes, skunks, etc etc etc) and afraid of me if she comes into my room. And no amount of bribing rewarding or threatening or reasoning makes a difference. And you need sleep to function the next day. That's another gray area.

So, you see. Parenting is not as easy as I thought it was before I tried it. And I am greatly humbled in this journey of parenthood. I just hope I get it right enough to not end up on Dr Phil with my children in 15-20 years. Or worse yet, Maury Povich.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Phonics Fun

Through 2 kids (and on my 3rd) we use a curriculum called Alpha-Phonics to teach reading. It's awesome-ly simple! I love it and would never use anything else (at least to start...I know that some kids need something different). I was told about it by a mom I babysat for when I was a teenager. She homeschooled her 5 children (for a period of time-not all the way) and they all learned to read with Alpha-Phonics. So, of course when I saw how simple it was and how colorful what everyone else was using was...what do you think I did? You would be right if you said I paid way too much money to get something fancier. That was with my first child. Within a week I threw it away (*gasp* I should've at least tried to sell it!) and went to look for the Alpha Phonics! Never looked back.
It is an old school primer that has no pictures. What I like about that is that I know the kids are not guessing at what they're reading, they have to read it. No clues from pictures. No pictures to distract!!
Haley is on lesson 14 and can read most words that have the short a sound already! And if you've ever read my blog before...Haley is not the easiest nut to crack.
Okay, now that I've sung the praises of my simpler than life phonics curriculum...I made something to go with it that turned out to not be quite so simple. But I love it too. It was a simple idea but I couldn't find what I needed to make it quite so simply. Very frustrating (and that happens to me all the time by the way, I will have THE best, easiest idea...except I can't find it anywhere). But I pressed on. What we have is what is pictured above. Think "Twister" meets phonics! We spread it out on the floor and I say...jump on the letter that makes the sound "duh" and Haley looks around and finds "D"! (We also used it for simple letter recognition before we were ready for the sounds.) She gets to be active and we are reinforcing what we're learning from the book. I also made some little laminated letters (lower case) that we can use like a matching game to match the lower case letter to the upper case!
I made mine using (cheap) scrapbooking paper and then I printed the simplest letters off on my Hallmark Card Studio on my pc, mixed them up on the squares...and put laminating shelf paper like stuff on it.

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